WASHINGTON D.C. - President Trump on Monday gave his administration high marks for its response to the coronavirus despite criticisms for a shortage of testing kits and for his downplaying the severity of the pandemic.
During a White House briefing of the coronavirus task force, Trump cited his early travel restrictions from China and other preventative measures.
“I’d rate it a 10,” Trump said. “I think we’ve done a great job, and it started with the fact that we kept a very highly infected country, despite all of the, even the professionals saying it’s too early to do that. We were very, very early with respect to China and we would have a whole different situation in this country if we didn’t do that.”
Trump's remarks come as he and Democrats clash over his handling of the virus. Many have raised concerns with Trump's claims that anyone who wants a coronavirus test can do so, despite a shortage of testing kits.
On Monday, Trump issued guidelines for Americans to follow to prevent further spread of the virus.
“With several weeks of focused action, we can turn the corner and turn it quickly,” Trump said. “Our government is prepared to do whatever it takes.”
INTERACTIVE MAP: Track COVID-19 cases around the world
Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said Monday that the United States was about where Italy was two weeks ago in the coronavirus struggle, a sign that infections were expected to rise. Italy is seeing more cases than any other country outside of mainland China.
As of Monday, the number of coronavirus cases in Italy surged to 24,747, while the death toll remained at 1,809.
“We are at a critical inflection point in this country, people,” Adams told Fox News. “When you look at the projections, there's every chance that we could be Italy.”